Pressure Ulcer Nutrition
Nutrition plays a very important role in a person’s resistance to the development of pressure ulcers. A patient’s doctor and health care team can recommend specific dietary changes to help improve the health of the patient’s skin. A diet high in protein, calories, vitamins, and minerals can help prevent pressure ulcers. This includes foods such as meat, chicken, beans, milk, yogurt, and cheese. Nutrition shakes may also provide extra calories and protein if the patient has trouble eating or is underweight. Prescribing dietary supplements such as vitamin C and zinc is another alternative to proper nutrition and a healthy diet.
Adequate hydration is important for maintaining healthy skin. A patient’s health care team can advise on how much fluid to drink and signs of poor hydration, such as decreased urine output, darker urine, dry or sticky mouth, thirst, dry skin, or constipation.
If a patient is unable to consume enough nutrients through regular meals and snacks, other methods, such as food supplementation or additional assistance, must be considered to allow the patient to maintain sufficient nutrition. Because adequate nutrition is a cornerstone, not only for healing pressure ulcers, but for preventing them as well, a nutritional consult is recommended for any patient who has any difficulty consuming adequate nutrition.